Jumping leads

The culture shock of arriving in a new country can be severe. Possibly you’re driving on what feels like the wrong side of the road, the street signs may be in a different language and none of the items in the supermarket look vaguely familiar.
For an expat, the first 6 to 12 months can bring all sorts of surprises. Over time though, we begin to adjust and maybe even forget about the things we originally felt we couldn’t live without . On a good day when the sun is shining and you’re enjoying what your new country has to offer, you start to feel like there’s really not that much difference between where you are now and where you were originally from.
And then something happens.
Today, the battery in my car went flat. For about a minute I stood looking at the car wondering what happens next. I then remembered hearing G say something about an organization that we were a part of – if only I’d listened to what they were called.  I had a quick search through the car and of course found nothing. I rang G.  He was in a meeting. I rang a girlfriend who then gave me the number of AAA. Yep – that sounds about right.
I spoke to a man and had a conversation that involved me repeating the number 28 at least 48 times. When the man finally came, he went to number 7.
When he rang me from number 7 I told him I’d stand out the front so he could see me. I was expecting someone to arrive in a vehicle maybe looking something a bit like this:


When he approached I wondered if he was the pizza delivery guy. He arrived in this:

After much discussion where neither understood what the other was saying, we both agreed that the battery was dead. He assured me all was okay because he had “jumping leads”.

His jumping leads did the trick and the car was back in action.

I learnt something new today. It turns out car batteries last maybe 2 summers in this heat if you’re lucky. We’ve just finished our second summer. Who knew?

Thank you Mr AAA for your jumping leads – maybe next time could bring along a large Hawaiian?

What have you learnt in your travels? 

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